Abstract for: Shifting the Path-Dependency of Bottled Water Towards Urban Drinking Water Security

Drinking water insecurity and bottled water consumption are both globally on the rise. Bottled water has come as a response to the lack of publicly provided steady, sufficient and safe drinking water. Yet, many of the analyses to date have been focusing on predominantly technological and economic perspectives, overlooking broader cultural and political dimensions. So, What are the elements and interrelations of the system structure that sustain the current urban drinking water supply insecurity in Mexico City? The empirical case study is located in Mexico which is among the top bottled-water consuming countries in the world. Qualitative data is elicited from a literature review and semi-structured interviews with key urban stakeholdes. This study contributes to an integrated understanding of urban drinking water supply insecurity in the study area by emphasizing social-political factors in the system structural analysis, with the present paper focusing specifically on how water resources distribution dynamics are interrelated to relative bottled water consumption. Results are presented in causal loop diagrams, allowing for the exploration of higher order leverage points to facilitate the human right to water. Preliminary findings suggest that he normalization of bottled water is systematically undermining the support for investing in safely managed water services and exacerbating disparities in access to safe and affordable drinking water in the study site.